skin colour of colossal


Apr 4, 2003
:? just wondering what the time delay was between Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni being pulled from the water, and arriving at the labs. What was the animals orginal colour when pulled from the water - the pictures depict it having a white/purple facade - however how much of this is due to decompisition?
Further to this find - have there been any approachs of sponsorship for future expeditions in this area? :roll:
There were about two weeks between the animal's capture and arrival in Wellington. I believe that the skin, when fresh, was a bright red-orange color on the arms, and after being frozen and thawed had blanched a little to a pale reddish-pink. Whether this is due to exposure or the freezing/thawing process, we don't know. The white patches you see in the photos are where the skin has abraded away - it's very thin and tears easily, leaving the white muscle underneath exposed.
Hi Kat,

I just wondered if there is any evidence for chromatophores or photophores on the specimen?

Ahoy Phil :smile:

The eyes do bear the photophores characteristic of all cranchiids. They aren't particularly well developed, however, and are more like patches of photogenic tissue... can't really speculate yet on whether / what they use them 'for.' We haven't had a chance to look inside yet, but if it's like others in the family, it may also have one on the digestive gland.
And the reddish skin color is the result of many tiny chromatophores.

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